Anita van den Putte lives in Bergeijk and has been renting social housing through Vestia since 2012. When it turned out a few years ago that Vestia wanted to sell the 450 homes in Bergeijk to the German investor Patrizia, she managed to get 150 tenants to protest at the municipality within three days. And with success: the sale was waived. Since then put Residents' committee Bergeijk is actively involved in rent reduction and tackling deferred maintenance.
Vestia makes many victims throughout the Netherlands. And more and more tenants are getting into trouble because of this housing association. The SP therefore recently published the 46-page Black book Vestia.
The corona crisis, which paralyzed the whole country, certainly did not make it any easier for Anita. “The fear of your health, your income — and then there's the fear of losing the roof over your head.”
When Anita moved into the house in 2012, the rent was € 509.52 per month. The rent went up every year. Meanwhile, the counter stands at € 840.23: an increase of 65%. This is partly due to the inclusion of the WOZ value in the rent, but also to the major financial problems that Vestia has been struggling with since 2012, and for which the tenants are allowed to pay the bill.
Because Anita has taken care of her mentally handicapped son, her family has to make do with her partner's income. However, due to the crisis, he was stuck at home. The rent was already too high, but it is now really hard to afford.
Anita is not the only one who gets into trouble. Several tenants approached the Residents' Committee. Many have to choose between buying food or paying the rent. The most poignant case was a single mother who had to get by with her three young children on just € 10 a week.
Anita: “I really had sleepless nights because of that. Fortunately, we were able to help them through the municipality. Many people have great shame. That is of course totally skewed and really needs to be taken out of the damn corner. This situation can happen to anyone. You can't help it, it's not your fault."
Vestia did not heed these cries for help. Where housing minister Ollongren (who passed motions for rent freezing refuses to execute) prides itself on the idea of 'customization', in reality little or nothing happens. The indifference is far too great. To make matters worse, Vestia now again proposed a rent increase, ranging from 5.1-6.6%.
To her surprise, Anita was invited to to talk to Minister Ollongren on July 8, together with a number of other tenants. The cabinet and the minister have no idea what is going on among tenants and how serious the situation really is. Anita is now ringing the bell and calling on everyone to join the rent increase strike.
Refuse the rent increase!
Will you join us? Refuse the rent increase! Together we can send a clear signal. You can cancel the direct debit until July 31: click here For more information.
Hang a white sheet from your window next weekend (July 31 and August 1) to show that you support this action against the rent increase. Take a picture of this and put it online with hashtags #rental freeze and #wentytherent increase! You can also include the name of your host and your city. It white sheet protest comes from Canada from rent (increase) refusers. A simple yet subtle way to make it clear that you are solidarity and not going to pay!
More information about the Bergeijk Residents' Committee and their fight against Vestia: http://www.bewonerscommissiebergeijk.nl/ https://www.facebook.com/bewonerscommissiebergeijk https://vestiamalaise.blogspot.com